WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — On a quiet early evening, the Veterans Memorial Bridge carries Route 462 across the Susquehanna River between Wrightsville and Columbia.

Veterans Memorial opened to traffic in 1930 and is the fifth bridge across the river at this location. It replaced a steel pratt truss bridge which was built in 1897.

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The fourth bridge, in turn, replaced a wooden covered bridge with two iron truss spans. That third bridge was destroyed by the September 1896 Cedar Keys Hurricane.

The bridge which the third bridge replaced is perhaps the most famous of the Wrightsville – Columbia spans. Built-in 1834, the wooden covered bridge was burned by Union troops during the Gettysburg Campaign in July 1863, to prevent Confederate troops from using it to cross the river into Lancaster County.

This takes us back to the very first bridge to be erected at the site. The wooden covered bridge was built in 1814 and survived until 1832 when an ice jam lifted it off its piers.

Just to the north of the current bridge are a row of piers. They were used for bridges two, three, and four, and run almost exactly parallel to the current bridge.